How Would it Change Things if You Knew You Would Succeed?

On Sunday we had a wonderful speaker. She started our her talk by sharing some of the very personal things she had been through the last few years– her husband being deployed to Iraq, his inability to re-adapt to family life when he got home, his leaving her and her five kids, her divorce and sudden poverty, moving back in with family, his re-marriage to another woman, and the struggles that she had had to forgive and to keep going.

Her talk was powerful and heartfelt and I was so impressed by her positive attitude. I could tell that looking on the positive side of things was not something that came easy to her, but rather something she had worked diligently at. One thing that she said really stood out to me. She shared how during one of her hardest times that her mother had shared a story by sister Virgina Pearce with her. She paraphrased the story in her talk but I searched the internet and found original story. Here is what Sister Pearce said at BYU Women’s Conference in 1998 (read the whole talk here):

 This is a personal metaphor, but it helps me understand the power of guaranteed success.

I hate to shop. Did I say that strongly enough? I hate to shop.

I have very little skill and so have very limited success. And besides, I don’t have good feet.

Anyway, one day one of my daughters and I were shopping. She needed a particular piece of clothing for a particular occasion that would make her look close to spectacular. All this for a reasonable amount of money. Is that the worst formula? We started out in the morning full of energy and hope. But by early afternoon, we were dragging in and out of the dressing rooms. Her hair was full of static, my feet hurt, we were hungry, and we were getting grouchy. And then we had a startling idea. If we knew, absolutely guaranteed knew, that at the end of the afternoon we would have found the perfect dress, would it make any difference to how we felt now? We inventoried—the hair, the feet, the hunger, the discouragement—and we said unhesitatingly yes! We could easily go another three hours, if we knew there was unequivocal success ahead. And so we simply told ourselves that we were going to find the outfit—and, I am amazed to tell you, it worked! We were laughing and talking again instead of whining and dragging

Could it be the same with life? Do we get exhausted because we quit believing that success is assured? You know, it is! In the sooner and later context, it might not be sooner, but it will for sure be later.

“Thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. He that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come” (D&C 63:20).

There must be dozens more implications, but I will only mention one more: We will expect to have to make this choice many, many times. Our ongoing responsibility is to keep offering ourselves and everything that we have and are to Him—to work actively but to cease judging each task with our mortal measurements. Great paradox of the gospel: In the total giving away, we receive total abundance, the only total security available. When we submit voluntarily and joyfully, far from being passive victims, we become victors, because we have accepted a partnership with an all-powerful and all-loving Being.

The sacrament speaker than said that this message had given her the courage to keep going forward because when ever she felt like giving up she’d ask herself, “How would my attitude change if I knew that everything was going to work out in the end?” She said that she had faith that God wanted her to be happy and had faith that He could do it. She said she began telling herself, “Everything is going to be fine in the end, so I should stop wasting energy being scared and angry and be happy now.”

And then my favorite part, she said, “Well, and if things are just going to get worse I for sure want to be happy now!”

As I listened to her I talked I began to think about how her message is an important one for women to remember during pregnancy and birth. The world tries to surround the process of pregnancy and birth with so much fear and anxiety that often times women can get so caught up in worrying about the unknowns–will the baby be okay? Will I be able to handle this pregnancy? How will I cope with labor? Will I get the support I want? Will I be a good mother to this child?

There are so many unknowns in pregnancy and birth that it can be easy for women to let fear dominate their bodies and their spirits instead of faith. Id’ like to challenge you, whenever you being to let those fears and concerns enter your mind, ask yourself instead, “How would my attitude change if I knew that  God was in charge, and that even if things don’t go as I plan, everything is going to turn out okay?”

Would knowing that you were assured of being successful  give you the patience to wait the last few week for your baby to be ready? Would it give you the courage to make the choices that you know are right for you and your baby? Would it give you the faith to welcome another child in to your family? Would it give you the strength to handle one more contraction, endure one more minute, one more hour?

Like Sister Pearce said in her talk I  answer with a resounding ” Yes!”.

Knowing that you are going to be successful, knowing that you can do it– changes everything. It washes fear away and replaces it with a sweet and powerful faith that God is aware of you and that He is in perfect control of the Universe.

And the most beautiful thing is that God has promised that each of us that we will be successful that we will be happy and that all things will work together for our good. He is aware of each of His children, born and unborn, and he has special experiences planned for each of us on this earth. We can’t always control what those experiences are but when  we remember that God is in charge– and the He wants us to be happy above all else –it makes being afraid and worried seem like a waste of time.

Remember this beautiful promise that God has given to all of His children:

{S}He that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome…” (D&C 63:20).

And that is a promise you can nail your faith to… over and over and over again.

5 thoughts on “How Would it Change Things if You Knew You Would Succeed?”

  1. What a wonderful reminder, not just for birth but for LIFE!!! I will be successful. That must have been what Nephi was saying over and over to himself as he was trying to get the plates. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Heather! What a great perspective change, and not just for pregnancy/childbirth but also for life in general.

  3. I loved this message. What is the scripture reference for these two sentences? I couldn’t find it. “Thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”

  4. So, this one hit the spot today, on several levels. I am not only 37 weeks pregnant with twins but I think in life, in general, it is so important to remember that all the tricky pieces ARE going to work together for our good if we can just keep the faith.

    Thanks so much 🙂

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